View Full Version : A little tool gloat

04-05-2014, 01:55 AM
Nothing spectacular but I'm really happy with the acquisition. I have been poking Ebay for some time looking for a good Blake Co-Ax indicator and finally found one that made me pull the lever. It arrived in today's mail so I took it to the shop where the only running machine I still have here is my mill (I'm moving to a new home).

I've had a Blake clone for a long time and after a lot of dinking with it I have gotten good accuracy and repeatability from it. Right out of the box the Blake was a disappointment until I found packing foam had worked into the gap at the top. Once cleaned up it is extremely smooth and quiet, and it has zero needle movement when the probe is measuring only air. I don't have to create a correction table for it as I had to do for my clone. And the price was sugar-free (sweet and lo).

It is missing the long probes (straight and curved) but my clone probes are interchangeable so not a problem. I've wanted a true Blake to complete a debunking/demystifying write up, and to explain away some really crazy ideas out there about what they do and crazier ideas about what they can't do. Just wish I still had all my shop equipment so I can do this! :)

Old Hat
04-05-2014, 02:04 AM
I have most of the probes from a Blake that a maniac destroyed in a fit.
Mine is a cheapo, and the probes are all together.
If you want you can have a couple if you know the lenghts.

04-05-2014, 03:11 AM
The real Blake Co-Ax could be purchased with 2", 4", and 6" probes, straight and curved. I and two-each 2" straight and curved. You could also get a centering probe that is quit unusual. All can be seen here: http://www.blakemanufacturing.com/products/co-ax-schematicbig.gif

I'd be happy to pay coin of the realm for a complete or partial set. My clone has all the missing parts but I'd like to have the Blake be stand-alone for probes.

Old Hat
04-05-2014, 07:39 AM
I'll check once back at work monday. Probably haven't opened that drawer in years.

04-05-2014, 08:31 AM
I don't mean to be a spoil-sport but, you know, I have never understood why some machinists feel they need to own a co-ax. I mean, if you honestly feel it is of value to you then please enjoy it with my blessing but I have gotten along fine with a basic Last Word indicator and a few home made attachments for my entire career. The other guys I work with each have a co-axial indicator and it set them back quite a few bucks for the minor convenience they get from it. I'm not trying to dis anyone for buying one but I just don't get it. Maybe if I used one for awhile I'd change my mind about its usefulness but I still don't think I'd lay down the money for one.

loose nut
04-05-2014, 02:16 PM
Co-ax indicators are sweet and a 3D Taster is like sex with a nymphomaniac. They aren't really necessary but they make life worth living. Are they worth it, who cares, I can't afford a nympho either.

04-05-2014, 04:12 PM
I don't mean to be a spoil-sport but, you know, I have never understood why some machinists feel they need to own a co-ax.

I'll never understand why people think Last Word DTIs and Co-Ax indicators cover the same ground. They don't. They fill different roles. Like dial calipers and micrometers.

04-05-2014, 05:52 PM
I have the center finding point for my Blake, but confess to never having used it. To pick up a center pip, I use a wiggler. It seems counterproductive to use precision tooling to locate a datum point that has been established with a hammer and chisel.

If I need accuracy, I use a center scope to locate scribed lines.

04-05-2014, 06:09 PM
I've used the centering probe on my Fake Blake but it is a weird little tool. Regarding the center scope, a contentious thread at PM show a wide range of opinions (Surprise!!) :)


I'd like to have one, though. I've wondered about the SwarfRat version. The price is certainly right. http://swarfrat.com/MillSpindleCenteringScope.htm

Old Hat
04-05-2014, 07:27 PM
It's a usefull tool. Do you realy need it? There's always two or more ways to do things.
What I can't understand is dufusses, that feel the need to trash a tool they don't
want to have anything to do with. You don't need it or want it. Keep out of it.

That kind of attitude defines you, more than it does the tool.

04-05-2014, 09:50 PM
It seems the folks at PM who understand what centering scopes are and how to operate them appreciate their use. Mine is 45X magnification and has a focal length of about 3/4". It can be set up as quickly as the Blake and will center directly to a scribed line or edge, eliminating any outside sources of error. 0.0001" accuracy is claimed. AIR, I paid $20.00 for it, $15.00 less than I paid for my Blake CO-AX.